Visit SpaceCampUtah.org to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit SpaceGuard.org and ProjectVoyager.org for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The End of One and the Beginning of Another



Hello Troops,
Our Day Camp ended at 3:00 P.M. Thursday. EdVenture Camp 5 started at 7:00 P.M. The EdVenture Camp ends Saturday at 3:00 P.M. Let it never be said the Space Education Center let a day go by without finding some way to make it beneficial to ourselves and our students.

I have an injury to report. Tuesday, early afternoon, Flight Director Bracken is standing at the bottom of the Voyager's Spiral Stairs. A Voyager Security Guard slowly descends the spiral stairs - step by step, phaser drawn. He is more concerned with a possible intruder than minding where his feet are falling on the stairs.

Three steps from the bottom, with his back to Bracken, the security officer missteps. Gravity intercedes and pulls the boy toward an abrupt and possibly painful disagreement with the carpeted Crew Quarters floor. But wait, there is a rather large mass in the boy's way. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, its Bracken! Instead of colliding with the unforgiving floor, the boy falls into 6 foot 9 ish Bracken. The boy is spared and there was great rejoicing.

Bracken, on the other hand, wasn't prepared for this close encounter of the forth kind. The boy's mass impacted Bracken's, sending Bracken off balance. Bracken's left leg lost its structural integrity and gave way, sending Bracken's left rib cage into the metal bar of the small bunk bed next to the spiral stairs.

Bracken collapsed onto the floor, clutching his side. According to reliable witnesses he repeatedly called for his mother. Another remembered seeing Bracken lose consciousness. When he woke moments later he mentioned an unsettling memory of a bright light at the end of a long tunnel and a voice of rolling thunder say, "We don't want your kind here!"

It took the combined effort of four eleven and twelve year old boys to hoist Bracken off the floor and drag him to the comfort of a bunk.

"No, No," he said with hand upon his heart. "I will not rest while others work. Leave me here. I shall preserver." The boys left Bracken in the crew quarters clutching his side while struggling for breath.

I learned about the accident when I saw Bracken crawling on his hands and knees out of the Voyager and into the Space Center's office. I jumped up to offer assistance. It was refused.

"No No," he said with hand upon his heart. "I will not take your help, or help from any man while people starve in sub Sahara Africa! Help them I say. Leave me to the Fates!" With that, he collapsed onto the carpet, blocking the entrance to the Voyager.

We pulled him back to the world of mortals with smelling salts and a few of the camper's dirty socks found abandoned on the gym floor. Bracken, no longer able to crawl because of the pain, inched his way in a unflattering worm crawl into the office. He maneuvered around the metal filing cabinet to the area between the long wooden desk and the outside wall. He layed beside the Black Hole (The Space Center's Lost and Found). The twenty minute journey of eight feet left him exhausted and barely able to speak.

"Water, water," Bracken whispered through swollen cracked and bleeding lips. A young volunteer, holding back sincere tears of compassion, found a cup and filled it from the drinking fountain. He knelt beside Bracken, lifted his head and held the cup to his lips.

"Here Bracken," his voice wavered between sobs. "Water."

"No, No," Bracken said pushing the cup away from his parched lips and throat. "I will not drink until everyone here has had a drink. The Good Book says that the first shall be last and the last first." With that, he fainted.

Bracken, a Hero to Young Children.
A Martyr to Pain and Punishment

Bracken is an example of the kind of staff we have at the Space Education Center. They are people who put everyone else first. Our staff and volunteers are the salt of the Earth burdened with extreme humility as their only weakness. The thought warms a Director's heart.

Epilogue: Bracken badly bruised his ribs but thankfully there were no breaks. He is a trooper and was back to work the next day. He makes an interesting sight - a nearly seven foot young 20 year old hobbling around the Center looking more like someone 93 years of age who was unable to reach the toilet in time.

And now, on a brighter note, shall we take a few minutes to enjoy the Imaginarium?



Who are your top ten favorites?

The home of the richest of the Hobbits in the Shire.

Just one of the Imaginarium's favorite Watering Holes for our young gun slingers looking to spend a few hours washing away their troubles in lemonade, and Sarsaparilla while listening to Kitty at the piano. Later, a few hands of Uno before home, bath and bed.

See You Soon Troops!

Mr. W.
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